Boats Against the Current

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The title of this blog comes from the closing sentence of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

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I had a real job interview today.

"Pray" for me kids.

Title: Blue Film Artist: Lo-Fang 14 plays

Blue Film — Lo-Fang

I was sick in bed this week with a fever and a tremendous quantity of mucus. It was awful, but I’m well on the way to a complete recovery. 

In my Nyquil induced trance, I watched The Breakfast Club, Manhattan, Annie Hall, and Terms and Conditions May Apply and I listened to Lo-Fang’s debut album several hundred times. He has a pretty voice and I’m in love with the instrumentals. I think it may be witchcraft, but they manage to flawlessly reproduce their uniquely melancholic sound in their live performances.  

If you want to hear more, you can find their webpage here

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  • Josh: I have to go. Look me up on Facebook.
  • Arnold: I don't have Facebook.
  • Josh: Ok. Well. I don't have time to indulge you about why you made that choice.
  • Note: I am so so glad that this show is back.

A perfect Saturday at the National Gallery. 

Life Updates and a Recipe: Palm Springs and Swiss Chard

I booked my airfare for Palm Springs so, at the end of September, I get to relax with my old school (read: wizened, read: venerable) gays, a bottle of Remy Martin XO, rare meat, and lots of warm sunshine. 

The chair of biomedicine was kind enough to extend my “temporary” position with the university for another six months and the promise of continued full time employment is certainly comforting. On that note: Hire me!? Please!?

Today, because the sun is shining and I’m in a particularly domestic mood, I have decided to bake a galette with swiss chard and gruyere. It’s really just an excuse to use the food processor and make a mess in the kitchen, but I think it’ll be worthwhile.

P.S. I think everyone should watch “Silicon Valley.” HBOGo is changing my life. Also: I bought this gorgeous thing because I had a moment of weakness. 

A Galette for Days of Domesticity

Cornmeal Galette Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups (320 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups (106 g) yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup ice water

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt until blended. Add the chilled butter to the bowl and pulse until it is evenly distributed but still in large, visible pieces. Add the olive oil and ice water and mix until the dough begins to come together. Dump dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Roughly shape the dough into a rectangle. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Alternatively, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter using the back of a fork or pastry cutter. Add olive oil and ice water and mix until dough just comes together.)

Assembling the Galette

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • pinches crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard, stems removed (about 500 grams, post-stemming)
  • Cornmeal Galette Dough
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère or Comté
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon milk or cream

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan or soup pot over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Pile the chard on top, cover the pan if you are able, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the leaves begin to wilt. Uncover the pan, use tongs to rearrange the leaves and continue cooking the chard until any liquid evaporates. Taste. This is your chance to season the chard, so add more salt if necessary. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and heat the oven to 375° F. Line a jelly roll pan with kitchen parchment paper. Roll the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle, about 15- x 21-inches or about an inch or two bigger in length and width than your sheet pan. Flip the dough every so often to ensure it’s not sticking. If it is, dust the surface with more flour. Loosely fold the dough in half and half again and transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Unfold the dough and center it to your pan. Spread a thin layer of ricotta on the bottom of the dough, leaving a two-inch border all the way around. Spread the onion and chard mixture over top in a thin, even layer. Sprinkle the grated cheese over top. Fold the edges of the dough inward over the filling. Pinch together any tears in the dough. Mix together the egg yolk and milk and brush it over the exposed crust. Bake until the crust has browned and the cheese has melted, 35 to 45 minutes. Slide the galette off the parchment and onto a cooling rack or cutting board. Let cool for 10 minutes. Cut the galette into 24 pieces. Serve.

 
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